Big Year for Cyril Raffaelli

Cyril Raffaelli

Cyril Raffaelli

Most of the mainstream world has never heard the name Cyril Raffaelli. Even among fans of action films, he’s not a common name in North America. In my opinion, he’s one of the best things to happen to action films in recent years.

Here’s a short promo of him:

Just another parkour nut? The kind of guy who jumps from rooftops, balances on rails, and flips around? He started early, and made a career of it. Gymnastics, martial arts (started with Shotokan Karate, then later Wu Shu), and the guts to be one of those few who decide to climb and jump off of high places before there were freerunning tutorials and videos online.

District 13

Many of you will recognize this stuntman from his most famous role in the film Banlieue 13 (District 13 in English). I know the first year students at George Brown certainly know him from there. But even then, he was overshadowed by the star, David Belle. Belle was the originator of Parkour, and the main reason the film was made. I daresay it was also the reason for its success, since his name drew attention to the film from the growing Parkour community.

Not impressed yet?

I saw him for the first time in Kiss the Dragon, a Jet Li vehicle. He was one of the “twin” bad guys, and their big fight was in an office filled with glass walls and desks. It was the highlight of the movie for me, and the reason it’s on my DVD shelf.

Many talented stuntmen can do the tricks, but can’t design or teach fights. Cyril can do both. I know, I’m making him sound like a real-life Chuck Norris. Did you like the fights in the last Transporter movie? He did that:


He was also one of the most dynamic bad guys in the last Die Hard movie. Forget the awful martial arts fight in the control room with the girl. Cyril was leaping around pipes, hanging and flipping all over. John Maclaine calls him a hamster. He was underused. As you’ve seen from the previous clips, that’s an understatement:

Coming Soon

Looking to the future, fans of Banlieue 13 should know that Cyril is in the sequel: Ultimatum. As with the original, he will also be the fight coordinator. He’s also the fight choreographer for the upcoming Tekken movie. It’s a good year for Cyril, and a great year for martial arts movies because of him.

How many videos can you fit in one post? How about one more: a teaser (in French):

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